Issue Briefs | Dec 5, 2016

Integrating Health Care and Social Services: Moving from Concept to Practice

Margaret Trinity, Mary Beth Dyer, and Michael Bailit, Bailit Health

Social factors, including economic stability, housing, education, relationships, neighborhood, and other environmental influences, can have a significant impact on individuals’ health status.  In order to make improvements to the health of both individuals and their communities, an integrated approach is critical.  Policymakers need to bridge the gap between social services and health care delivery in their efforts to make these improvements, and several states have begun to develop innovative approaches toward this integration, which might provide valuable lessons for others.  This issue brief, developed by Bailit Health, describes six potential integration strategies that state agencies might employ to better integrate social services and health care delivery.  For each, the issue brief contains examples from several states that have utilized these strategies in their own efforts to increase integration.